02062016Sat
Last update: Sat, 06 Feb 2016 05am

South America

World - South America

Colombia rebels seek panel to study war reparations HAVANA: Colombia's leftist FARC guerrillas said on Monday that reparations from their almost 50 year armed conflict with the state should be decided with the help of an independent panel of experts.The proposal came at peace talks here aimed at ending Latin America's longest guerrilla war.FARC negotiator Pablo Catatumbo said that in order to resolve the issue of reparations for victims of the war an in-depth history of it was needed.He said FARC proposed the immediate formation of an independent commission "to study the history of the confrontation from the beginning of the violence.""For greater historical rigor," he said, the archives of Colombia's police, military and intelligence agencies should be opened to the panel, which he said should include both Colombians and foreigners.Catatumbo also called for reform of the Colombian judicial system as part of the peace process, saying it had been politicized by the executive branch.The peace negotiations have ...

World - South America

Workers go on strike at Brazil's state-run airports SAO PAULO: Workers at government-run Brazilian airports went on an indefinite strike Wednesday to press demands for higher pay and better work benefits.The strike was called by the National Union of Airport employees (SINA).The National Confederation of Transport Workers, of which SINA is a member, said that the stoppage affected 80 percent of the 63 airports run by the federal agency Infraero.But Infraero said only six airports were affected: Sao Paulo's Congonhas, Rio's Galeao and ...

World - South America

Argentina probes misappropriated $1.4bn paid to Venezuela BUENOS AIRES: Argentina's justice department has opened an investigation into charges economic officials illegally diverted some $1.4 billion to pay off its fuel bill in Venezuela, authorities said Tuesday.The economic officials are alleged to have used funds intended for the social security agency ANSES in order to pay a debt with Venezuela, and of only reporting the transfer eight months later.Opposition politicians brought a complaint, saying in a statement the delay in publishing the details ...

World - South America

Cuba reports little progress five years into agricultural reform HAVANA: Agriculture in Cuba remains in crisis and the country is still dependent on imports five years into Raul Castro's presidency and efforts to reform the sector, according to a government report released this week.The communist-run nation is investing in some crops to reduce imports and others to boost exports, even as it gradually loosens the state's grip on all food production and distribution in favour of individual initiative and the law of the market.Cash-strapped ...

World - South America

Gas well explodes in Argentina: officials BUENOS AIRES: A natural gas well exploded in Argentina's Patagonia region, igniting a huge blaze but causing no serious injuries, authorities said on Tuesday.The explosion occurred late Monday at a well belonging to the Argentine oil company Pluspetrol in Neuquen, a civil defense official said.The well was about a kilometer (0.6 miles) away from the nearest populated area, but provincial civil defense chief Vanina Merlo said residents were not at risk.One person was lightly injured, ...

World - South America

Colombia rebels say Canadian hostage release closer BOGOTA: A Colombian guerrilla group indicated on Monday it may be getting ready to free a Canadian engineer it has been holding hostage since January.The ELN, or National Liberation Army, praised the "goodwill" of Canadian company Braeval Mining Corporation, where Jernoc Wobert, 47, was employed, for recently abandoning its rights to its mining area in northern Colombia."This gesture of goodwill draws closer the release of vice president of exploration and geologist Jernoc Wobert, who was ...

World - South America

Venezuela celebrates Chavez birthday CARACAS: Hugo Chavez died nearly five months ago, but that hasn't stopped his hand-picked successor from holding week-long festivities honoring the late Venezuelan leader's birthday.The fiery former military officer who dominated the country's political scene from the moment he took office in 1999 to his death on March 5 would have turned 59 on Sunday.President Nicolas Maduro is marking the occasion with public dances and concerts. He even plans to go house-to-house in some neighborhoods ...